It was 48 years ago today (May 1st) that Tim McGraw was born in Delhi, Louisiana. While his father, baseball All-Star Tug McGraw, traveled the country as a relief pitcher for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, McGraw spent his childhood in the small Louisiana farm town of Start, where he was raised by his mother, Betty, and stepfather, Horace Smith.
Meanwhile, Faith Hill — McGraw’s future wife and fellow country superstar — was raised 110 miles away, in the similarly-named town of Star, Mississippi. The two chart-toppers hit the road together in 1996 for the aptly titled Spontaneous Combustion Tour, with sparks immediately flying. Hill called off her engagement to her former producer, and she and Tim were married on October 6th of that year.
As the first single from his 1997 LP, Everywhere, McGraw released the sweeping and romantic duet with his now-wife, “It’s Your Love.” The song’s impact on both singers’ careers was immediate. “It’s Your Love” took a mere five weeks to reach Number One on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The tune was a Top Ten pop single, too, becoming the first major crossover hit for McGraw and paving the way for Hill’s international smash, “This Kiss,” one year later.
More than its chart success, “It’s Your Love” was a multiple award winner, taking home four ACM awards for Single, Song, Video and Vocal Event of the Year. The latter award was duplicated later in the year as both McGraw and Hill’s first-ever victories at the CMA ceremony in 1998, where the pair performed the song live. “It’s Your Love” was also the Number One country song of 1997, a distinction McGraw would revisit the following year with “Just to See You Smile.”
In addition to this duet, McGraw and Hill — who’ve since become one of country music’s most awarded power couples, joining the ranks of Johnny and June (and, more recently, Miranda and Blake) — have had hits with “Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me,” “Let’s Make Love” and “Meanwhile, Back at Mama’s,” among others. But Mrs. McGraw has shared her hubby with other artists as well, including Jo Dee Messina, Nelly, Def Leppard and Kenny Chesney.
The ultimate tribute to Tim McGraw came, arguably, from young fan Taylor Swift, who named a song from her 2006 debut album after him.